BMW Motorrad have officially launched their latest fully electric offering down under, with the CE 04 Scooter taking centre stage at its Australian media launch in Melbourne. Practical and funky, it could just be the ideal way to navigate the city landscape.
Loaded with tech, the CE 04 is a glimpse of what the future might hold for the German marque, and while there’s plans for for future electric models, there’s still no commitment to end production of ICE motorbikes in the near future.
This new bike builds on a process that began in 2014 with BMW’s first electric pilot bike, the C-Evolution electric scooter, which went on to sell more than 8,000 units globally before being cut from the Motorrad line-up in 2020.
Fast forward to 2022 and BMW’s CE 04 is now on sale in more than 38 countries, with strong results thus far. It’s now Australia’s turn to experience it, and potentially fall in love with the electric scooter.
Utilising synergies gained form the car side of BMW’s empire, the CE 04 builds on its urban mobility strategy. That translates to the CE 04 being the launch product for what the brand is sprucing as its silent revolution.
Buzz words and environmental agendas aside, it’s what the CE 04 can do on the road that matters. To get going on our test, we paired our phone, complete with the planned routes, and stuck it on the concealed proximity charging pad.
Into the urban sprawl we went, towards St Kilda, to get acquainted with the CE 04 and of course, get some happy snaps along the way. Let’s call a spade a spade here. It’s a bloody good electric scooter.
Sure, it has limitations, like a range of only 130km, but it’s aimed straight at those who want to use it for their urban commute. Engaging and captivating, with trademark electric torquey goodness, it’s a bike with plenty of substance.
As with most electric bikes, it’s always amusing to take the opportunity to tap into the instant, responsive linear acceleration and surprise bigger motorcycle riders with it’s zippiness, pulling away from traffic lights and leaving them in your dust.
The numbers are decent, at 31kW, with a 0-50km/h sprint in 2.6 seconds. There are four selectable ride modes too, including ECO, Rain, Road and Dynamic. They all influence acceleration, regenerative braking and, of course range.
We spent the majority of our time in Dynamic, enjoying the benefits of maximum electric acceleration. Thanks to being in Melbourne, we were able to experience four seasons in a day, and test each of the ride modes.
Road is probably the easiest to live with on a day to day basis, but the surprise packet was the performance of ECO mode. Yes, it didn’t quiet have the performance off the line, but it was really strong through mid range power delivery.
Fitted with an abundance of tech and rider features, the CE 04 sits at the premium end of the scooter segment, with the range opening at $21,960 ride away. The spec’d up Avantgarde starts at just over $22,155 ride away.
Styling cues are a little futuristic and purposeful. Deliberate sharp flat surfaces are an obvious effort to conceal mechanical parts, although the rear wheel does resemble a space saver car tyre. That’s only a thing if we were being overly picky.
The CE 04 is a big scooter too, or to be more accurate, a long one. That means it’s very accommodating for bigger humans, with plenty of leg room, and no chance of hitting your knees, like some smaller offerings.
The size doesn’t take away from lane filtering capability or city manoeuvrability though, and the CE 04 is even fitted with a reverse gear. It works perfectly to assist with the additional weight of the batteries and electrical componentry.
The BMW CE 04 weighs 231kg, and is 2.285m long. It’s 855mm wide, and very nimble. Standard seat height of 780mm makes it comfortable for most riders. A steel double looped frame with single bridge telescopic fork provides 100mm of spring travel on the front.
The rear set up features a single sided swing arm, with directly hinged suspension that provides 92mm of spring travel. Combined with 15-inch rims, the CE 04 offers a firm but plush ride, with good handling dynamics.
Stopping power is provided by a double 265mm disc with a 4-piston fixed calliper on the front, while the rear houses a single 265mm disc with a single piston floating calliper. It’s much better than some of its rivals, and is bolstered by BMW Motorrad ABS.
From a tech perspective, a 10.25-inch TFT display delivers a range of rider information. It’s here you can access the ride modes too, which can also be operated from toggles on the handlebars. It provides full smartphone connectivity.
Charging availability is still a contentious issue for local consumers, but it’s definitely improving (a new Federal government may further assist that). Importantly, the CE 04 can be charged from both a domestic socket, or at dedicated charging stations.
When charging from a Mode 2 cable (provided as standard), plugged into normal socket or a standard column charger, you can get from 0-80 per cent in around 3.5 hours (1.9/2.3kW). An optional Mode 3 rapid charger can speed that up to 65 minutes (6.9kW).
Storage for cables, helmets and bags is taken care of via an under seat compartment that can handle a full-sized lid. There are also three concealed compartments that can hold wallets, keys and phones, located under the dash on the front of the scooter.
A range of accessories are available too, including an additional side bag, sticker kits and upgraded sports seats. Niceties such as heated grips and a similarly toastie seat come standard with the scooter.
The 2022 BMW CE 04 represents the future of urban mobility, regardless of our emotional connection to internal combustion. Bikes like this help make the journey a little easier and less confronting. We left this launch feeling like we have a new favourite scooter.
Our test bike was provided as part of the Australian media launch of the 2022 BMW CE 04 Electric Scooter. To find out more, visit your local BMW Mottorad dealer.